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Coffee is not only very popular among gourmets, but also among hobby gardeners. Because the coffee plant impresses with its impressive appearance and gives every room a touch of the exotic. However, it happens again and again that the plants get brown leaves. You can find out here how the quick remedy works and how the coffee plant can be saved.

Brown leaves on the coffee

There are many reasons for brown leaves on the coffee plant. However, all of them can either be traced back to the location, care, or parasites, so that the cause can be quickly narrowed down before the detailed search. These causes occur again and again, but can usually be easily eliminated with the measures described:

notice: The causes of brown foliage on Coffea Arabica cannot always be clearly assigned to a specific cause. This is due to the fact that different causes often cause each other or at least promote each other, so that ultimately a whole hodgepodge of causes leads to the brown leaves. However, it is often enough to eliminate just one of the causes in order to get the overall effects under control. For example, a drought-loving parasite does not have to be combated separately, since it will sooner or later flee anyway if the air humidity increases.

Location-Related Factors

1. Too dark location

Coffee is considered a plant with a high light requirement. An unchanged location is often difficult, especially in winter, since the available brightness decreases if demand is not reduced.

Possible remedy:

  • Change location, e.g. choose a brighter location in winter
  • Use of plant lighting during the dark season

2. Sunburn

Although the coffee plants need a lot of light, they react to excessive radiation intensity with burns and leaves turning brown.

Possible remedy:

  • choose a sheltered location in summer, for example not a pure southern exposure
  • alternatively, provide sun protection that lets light through but partially blocks direct sunlight

3. Humidity too low

If the air is too dry, coffee leaves can also turn brown. This phenomenon is often associated with drafts, since moving air removes moisture very effectively and increases dryness. As a result, the leaves of the plant are attacked and react by drying out and discoloring.

Possible remedy:

  • Choose a location that is protected from wind or draughts
  • Increase the humidity of the location with additional evaporators, adjust care measures if necessary

care-related factors

1. Soil that is too moist or waterlogged

If the soil around the roots of Coffea Arabica is too wet, mold and other nuisances will damage and degrade supplies. The first signs of this are undersupplied leaves, which die off over time and turn from green to brown.

Possible remedy:

  • Changed watering behaviour, reduce watering, if necessary more frequently
  • Improve the drainage capacity of the substrate by adding sand
  • Provide the flower pot with drainage openings to drain off waterlogging

2. Nutrient deficiencies

If the coffee plant lacks nutrients such as nitrogen and minerals, it usually reacts by "shutting down" the least needed components - the leaves. These will first turn brown and then fall off.

Possible remedy:

  • Adjustment of the fertilizer doses, ideally regularly with the irrigation water
  • Alternatively, e.g. as part of repotting: replacing the depleted substrate with a new, pre-fertilized substrate with a high nutrient content

Parasitic causes

1. Aphid infestation

Although aphids are hardly choosy when it comes to their host plants, they can still be found on coffee again and again, or perhaps because of this. Due to their diet of plant juices, they damage the affected leaf parts several times. The bite sites allow other fungi and pathogens to easily penetrate the plant. The loss of the sap means a general weakening. And finally, the secretion excreted by aphids impairs the metabolism on the leaf surface. Leaves that have been disturbed in this way show increasing browning over time, followed by leaf fall.

Possible remedy:

  • Use of chemical insecticides
  • Use of home remedies, such as spraying on soft soap solution or nettle manure
  • Favoring of predators of aphids, such as ladybirds or parasitic wasps

tip: Both stinging nettle manure, ladybugs and parasitic wasps initially appear hardly feasible for a houseplant. However, these alternatives to chemical agents, which are usually also critical for people, can be implemented well on the balcony or terrace. Positioned near the garden, the hoped-for beneficial insects often appear of their own accord in the warm months to take advantage of the food supply.

2. Spider mites

Spider mites are also not very picky. They are also often found on coffee plants and are easy to identify based on their webs. For the plant itself, they produce similar effects as the aphids do. Because the spider mites also feed on the juice of the leaves and young shoots. The affected plants react in the same way by turning brown and dropping affected parts.

Possible remedy:

  • Increase in humidity (see care measures), as spider mites prefer dry conditions
  • Rinse the plant intensively with water, several times if necessary

Prevent instead of fighting

The crux of the matter with finding a remedy against brown leaves on the coffee plant is that the measures can only be taken after the symptoms in the form of the unwanted discoloration have already appeared. However, affected leaves can hardly be saved. It is therefore worth taking preventive action right from the start and taking targeted countermeasures to prevent possible difficulties:

  • Examination of the location in terms of exposure, ventilation and humidity
  • Change of location if necessary, for example in winter to a brighter location or in summer to a less intensively lit place
  • To improve the humidity, for example, use coasters with clay granules to store water, or water less but more often
  • Apply nutrients regularly with irrigation water
  • Use insect screens against lice and other parasites

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